Surfing & Sustainability: Political Ecology in Costa Rica

University-level course for undergraduates, graduate students and professional development

As a magnet for global surf tourism, Costa Rica's Pacific Coast is being rapidly transformed today as communities face the complex challenges of promoting sustainability and conserving nature while catering to increasing demands for development and economic growth. Travelling up the coast from south to north, we visit a number of towns and surf destinations to learn how these communities are responding to the changing realities of which they are a part.

Viewing the communities we visit through an ethnographic lens at the intersections of political ecology, anthropology, and geography, we meet with local surfers, business owners, tourism operators, and visiting tourists along the way, learning first-hand from the people and places whose stories aren't often heard. In the process, we engage directly with the many complex issues critical to the debate on international surf tourism, sustainability, and development.

Students explore these issues on the ground (and in the water), receiving 6 fully-transferable credits in 2 course offerings under the auspices of the University of Georgia - Costa Rica: 1) Communities, Conservation, and Development; and 2) the Anthropology of Surfing. 

For more information, visit our program website here.